Posts filed under ‘Lunch’
Smothering a whole organic chicken with mayo at one point in my life would have totally freaked me out. Now, it makes drool…oh how times have changed. I used to think that eating dietary fat = automatically gaining body fat. Ten years ago, I would have cringed at eating anything that wasn’t labeled low-fat and I’d even meticulously cut fat off lean boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Interesting how we get ideas in our head of what is considered “healthy”.
The more I learn about nutrition, and the more I am open-minded and willing to try new things, the more I REALLY comprehend that how one person eats doesn’t always work for the next person. Mind you, I am not advocating eating blocks of cheese, fried chicken and deep-fried oreos… but fats from whole and unprocessed foods can do wonders for the body and our health. More on this later, let’s get to this recipe!
I found this incredibly easy and DELICIOUS recipe for Mayo Crusted Roasted Chicken on Nicole’s blog I am a Honey Bee for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment. I was already familiar with Nic’s blog when I made her Lightened-up Broccoli Cheddar Soup awhile back so I was excited to have her site again! Her Payday Pie looks and sounds absolutely heavenly and her Homemade Paleo Bacon will be made as soon as I get my hands on fresh pork belly (I have to order it from my local health food store).
This chicken though, what a fantastic way to cook a whole bird! The result is a juicy and tender chicken and the mayo creates a lovely crust on top of the skin, which crisps up nicely and infuses a delightful punch of flavor! You can carve up the meat and serve it as the main dish or use the meat for another recipe, so it’s a win for versatility. I made a few changes: I used my own homemade avocado mayo, added a bit of fresh lemon thyme and stuffed the bird with quartered lemon wedges. I omitted the garlic and the bay leaves since I didn’t have those on-hand but they would have been a great addition as well. I can’t wait to experiment with different flavor combos and the mayo in the future – yum! Thanks for the inspiration Nicole!
Also, I have a confession: It’s been quite the couple of weeks and this recipe reflects just that. Do you see anything wrong with these photos?! Umm…I cooked this chicken upside down! Wow, where is my head at? I didn’t turn it over after seasoning it so that’s was an oops. I should have posted this for April Fool’s Day…but this was a nice reminder to laugh at myself
Mayo Crusted Roasted Chicken (lightly adapted from I am a Honey Bee)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Whole 30 & Keto-friendly, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Candida-friendly
Makes 1 whole chicken
5-6 pound whole organic chicken
1/2 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 2″ long pieces
1/2 pound celery, peeled, cut into 2″ long pieces
2 large onions, sliced into 1/2″ wedges
4 sprigs of fresh lemon-thyme and/or 3-4 bay leaves
approximately 1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used homemade avocado oil, sugar-free mayo, recipe below)
one lemon, quartered
coarsely ground black pepper
Other seasoning options:
4 garlic cloves, minced
- Preaheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Remove the giblets from the chicken. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.
- Place the carrots, celery, onions, garlic, and two sprigs of thyme (and/or bay leaves) in a roasting pan. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper. Place the chicken on top. Stuff the cavity of the bird with the quartered lemon and two of the sprigs of thyme.
- With about 2 tbsp of mayo, rub undernearth the chicken skin. Take remaining mayonnaise and run all over the whole chicken. Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken to prevent burning.
- Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 20 minutes prior to slicing and serving. Lift the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.
Homemade Avocado Oil Mayo (lightly adapted from The Healthy Foodie)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly, Whole 30-compliant, Keto-friendly, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Candida-friendly, Vegetarian
3 eggs yolks (or 1 extra large egg)*
1/2 tsp sea salt (I’ve used flavored salts like hickory smoked sea salt)
juice from half a lemon or 3 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp of mustard (I use stone ground dijon mustard made with apple cider vinegar)
1 cup avocado oil (or extra light tasting olive oil)
- To a large mouth glass jar, add the egg yolks. Add the remaining ingredients on top of the yolks.
- Place immersion blender in the glass jar until it hits the bottom (this is the only way I’ve every made mayo so I am not sure what else you can substitute).
- Turn the immersion blender on and let run without moving for a full 20 seconds. You’ll see the oil will start to emulsify and it starts to look like mayo!
- After 20 seconds, move your stick blender around and up and down just to ensure that every all of the oil gets well incorporated into the mixture. There you have it!
- Store in the refrigerator an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
*I used yolks only since I found out I am sensitive to egg whites so I am keeping my intake to a minimum
Handheld eats are always a win in my book…they are versatile, they are portable and they are so satisfying! Whether it’s a wrap or a sandwich or a taco, you can pack all the food groups into one lovely bite. This veggie-friendly quesadilla is no exception!
I was assigned Terri’s blog Our Good Life for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal, and I enjoyed perusing through her posts of recipes to crafts and family . I wound up picking her Acorn, Black Bean and Spinach Quesadilla this month for two reasons: I had my mind set on Mexican food and I couldn’t wait to test out a quesadilla using Against the Grain’s new gluten-free pita bread (which doubles fabulously as a tortilla). Terri’s Radish Leaf Pesto will be perfect to whip up this spring, her Oat Congee with Fried Egg and Scallions definitely peaked my interest, and her Apple Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding has been bookmarked for the next stormy day when I’m craving comfort food!
Even though Spring is here (or almost here in Montana), I am still enjoying my fair share of sweet potatoes and winter squash. They are a staple in my kitchen and you can always find an uncooked kabocha squash or Japanese sweet potato on the counter ready to be incorporated enemy next recipe experiment! This recipe for a winter squash quesadilla was a huge hit and without a doubt satisfied my hankering for Mexican food!
Now this is an ideal flavor combo for me! The creamy texture of the winter squash and the velvety beans complimented the crisp edges on the tortilla and the salty, stringy melted cheese. The sautéed greens added a nice earthy dimension to the dish along with the brightness from the cilantro and fresh squeezed lime juice. I changed up a few things on this recipe based on what I had on hand — I substituted kabocha squash for the acorn squash, I used a gluten-free, grain-free tortilla and I added a bit of cilantro for a bit of brightness. I decided to smash up some of the black beans to help adhere the ingredients together since I stuffed the tortilla with the layers of filling Mmmmmm!
Black Bean, Squash and Greens Quesadilla (recipe adapted from Our Good Life)
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free Option, Vegetarian, Vegan Option, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free, Egg-free
- 1 c small dice cooked acorn squash, kabocha squash or butternut squash
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 can organic black beans, rinsed
- 1 small bunch spinach (or your favorite leafy greens), destemmed and chopped
- 4 gluten-free flour tortillas (I used grain-free Against the Grain pita bread)
- 6 oz monterey jack cheese or your favorite dairy-free shredded cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro OR 3 Tbsp chopped greens onions
- lime wedges
- your favorite salsa and/or guacamole
What’s a girl to do when the fridge is running on empty and she’s in need of a speedy meal? All I had besides a shelf of staples (coconut milk, chia seeds, tahini and coconut butter) was the following:
- half a container of roasted red pepper hummus
- half a carton of grape tomatoes
- several cups of cooked spaghetti squash
So that’s I made for my lunch concoction… the simplicity of the dish far exceeded the complexity of the taste. I added a tablespoon or so of hemp seeds with a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper and it was a tasty dish!
I should have known hummus would be good with spaghetti squash…it’s compliments just about everything! I’ll be making this again on purpose with a few more add-ins for some additional bulk. I am thinking chickpeas or navy beans, sautéed greens and roasted broccoli or caramelized onions. (I have a weird thing about always wanting something green on my plate.)
4-Ingredient Spaghetti Squash Hummus “Pasta”
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Egg-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Quick
drizzle of olive oil
4-5 grape tomatoes, cut in half or quarted
2-3 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1/4-1/3 cup of roasted red pepper hummus (or your favorite flavor – roasted garlic would be delish)
1 Tbsp hemp hearts
salt and pepper to taste
Your favorite add-ins if desired (roasted veggies, chickpeas, grilled chicken or crumbled sausage etc)
- In a small skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add squash and tomatoes and saute until warmed through.
- Stir in hummus and hemp hearts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
*This serves one person; for a weeknight family meal quadruple the ingredients. You could always microwave all of these ingredients for a 5 minute meal as well.
Healing is a journey. Besides the physical, it’s also emotional and mental, and just like seasons in life, it can be difficult while beautiful at the same time. I’ve learned to slow down and take time to really breath, or even have a good cry. I’ve learned to really appreciate sleep and listening to my body instead of my “normal routine”. My hope is that this doesn’t come off as complaining or whining, but more as a self-check and better understanding of myself and what my body wants and needs.
For the past 3+ years, I was up by 5 or 6 am and wouldn’t be in bed until midnight or 1 am. Even though I was making healthy food choices and working out, the constant rush-rush, go-go lifestyle and sleep deprivation finally caught up with me.
Add candida, adrenal fatigue, constant sinus infections, viruses and food allergies… my body hit a point and said “NO! Slow down!”. No wonder my body wasn’t keeping up…even though I tried to convince myself I was SuperWoman, that’s far from reality.
My priority now is healing… slowing down, and making sure I get a good night’s rest. If I don’t get enough sleep one night, I’ll take a nap or sleep longer the next night and call it an early evening.
Another thing I’ve enjoyed is simplifying, and that goes for cooking too. Batch cooking and making meals that don’t require 20+ steps or 30 different ingredients. I’ll get the urge to try out a more time-consuming recipe but simple recipes such as this roasted carrot and beet soup are tasty and no-hassle!
This soup is silky in texture, a bit earthy from the beets and cumin and comforting. It’s appropriate for this time of year too –looks a little like Halloween with the orange base and the green “cheese”!
Cumin-Roasted Carrot and Golden Beet Soup
Grain-free, Nightshade-free, Gluten-free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, Dairy-free, Paleo-friendly, Egg-free, Nut-free, Sugar-free, Soy-free
6-7 medium organic carrots, peeled (if desired) and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2-3 medium golden beets, peeled (if desired) and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes (can use red beets but will change the color)
2 shallots, chopped into chunks
1 Tbsp olive oil (can sub coconut oil or butter/ghee if you do dairy)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric, divided
rounded 1/4 tsp ground cumin, divided
1/2 tsp dried thyme, divided
1/2 tsp sea salt (I used smoked sea salt for a smoky flavor)
2-3 cups bone broth, low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock/broth (use veggie if vegan/vegetarian), or more to reach your desired thickness of soup, I prefer a thicker soup
2-3 tsp lime juice (or lemon juice for a different flavor)
For serving (optional)
chopped cilantro or parsley for serving, optional
Summer squash “cheese” or non-dairy cheese, optional but adds depth of flavor
If you like a little texture in your soup, cubed or sliced avocado
aluminum foil (to create foil packets)
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Lay two large squares of aluminum foil down, placing carrots in the middle of one square and beets in the middle of the other. Divide the shallots evenly and place on top of each.
2. Combine herbs, spices and salt in a small bowl (turmeric through salt).
3. Drizzle each of the veggies with 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil, then sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the vegetables.
4. Fold the foil up, creating a seal with each packet and bake for 30 minutes or until tender, the carrots cooked a bit faster than the beets, so check them at 30 minutes.
5. Add roasted veggies and remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Top with cilantro or parsley, squash cheese and/or avocado and enjoy warm!
*If you prefer to roasted your carrots and beets on a baking pan instead of in foil packets, that’s an option too. I like how the foil packets steam the veggies a bit first and then after opening the pouches, I can brown them a bit.
Stovetop Preparation: You can always sauté the carrots and beets first a bit in a dutch oven, add the spices for 30 seconds until fragrant. Then add broth and remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let cook until the carrots and beets are tender and soft, about 15-20 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree or add soup to a blender on high until velvety smooth (Yay Vitamix!). Season to taste with more salt and lime juice if desired.